Gibson Hotel


  This Hotel had seen 4 reincarnations during it's lifespan. The Hotel, located on the west side of Walnut Street between 4th  and 5th Street, was first built in 1849. It was closed for 1 year in 1850 because "It was to far out in the country". Reopened, it lasted until 1873 when it was torn down and replaced by a larger building. The second hotel lasted until 1912 when it was destroyed by fire. The third building of 12 stories existed until 1922 when it was enlarged to be "the largest Hostelry in the Midwest". It consisted of 1000 rooms. It became the Sheraton Gibson in 1950 when the Sheraton Corp. bought the building. It was finally closed in 1974 and was razed in 1977.

Gibson House-1849.jpg (211956 bytes)        1870 Gibson House.jpg (321938 bytes)    Gibson House 1873.jpg (234935 bytes)    Gibson House.jpg (323459 bytes)
1849                                                                                1873    to    1912                                    

These are not postcards

C.A.Burkhardt-Gibson Hotel.jpg (269137 bytes)                        Gibson House 4th St.Entrance & Lobby-1910.jpg (129690 bytes)        Gibson House Walnut St. Lobby-1910.jpg (164956 bytes)
 Newspaper Drawing                      Walnut St. Entrance          Lobby & 4th St. Entrance    


Gibson Hotel 1.jpg (117103 bytes)
1873 to 1912

Gibson Hotel 1 vert.jpg (142011 bytes)    Gibson VCWB.jpg (282675 bytes)    Gibson-z6vert.jpg (138662 bytes)    Gibson-z7vert.jpg (114127 bytes)    Gibson Hotel 3 vert.jpg (141919 bytes)    Gibson Hotel 2 vert.jpg (152045 bytes)
  1912  to 1922

Gibson Hotel 3.jpg (139597 bytes)    Gibson-z1.jpg (86955 bytes)    Gibson-z2.jpg (119625 bytes)    Gibson-Yellow Hue.jpg (100955 bytes)
                                               1922  to 1950                              Same card

Gibson Hotel 2.jpg (140614 bytes)    Gibson Hotel-linen.jpg (250093 bytes)

Gibson Hotel 4 vert.jpg (126641 bytes)            Gibson Hotel 5 vert.jpg (113074 bytes)            Gibson-z4vert.jpg (169231 bytes)            Gibson-z5vert.jpg (112432 bytes)

Gibson-z9vert.jpg (113977 bytes)            Gibson-z10vert.jpg (113693 bytes)           Gibson Hotel-Lin.jpg (333496 bytes)           Gibson 49-39.jpg (310895 bytes)

Gibson Interior 1.jpg (113494 bytes)        Gibson Interior 3.jpg (104411 bytes)        Gibson Interior 4.jpg (93147 bytes)        Gibson Interior 2.jpg (89576 bytes)
                                                Three cards of the Ball Room                                                      aka The Convention Room


Gibson Interior 5.jpg (110689 bytes)        Gibson Interior 6.jpg (121452 bytes)        Gibson Interior 6a.jpg (120197 bytes)        Gibson Interior 7.jpg (99892 bytes)
The Roof Garden          or      The Roof Ball Room       or    The Roof Dining Room                The Italian Room


Gibson Interior 10.jpg (110207 bytes)    Gibson Interior 11.jpg (113150 bytes)    Gibson Florentine Room Drawing.jpg (284272 bytes)    Gibson Interior 12.jpg (85299 bytes)    Gibson-Florentine-2.jpg (115000 bytes)
Five cards of The Florentine Dining Room


Gibson Interior 13.jpg (106406 bytes)   Gibson Interior 14.jpg (117532 bytes)   Gibson Interior 15.jpg (96267 bytes)   Gibson Interior 16.jpg (98416 bytes)   Gibson-lobby sketch.jpg (261720 bytes)
Lobby from Mezzanine                                                                     Four cards of the Main Lobby                                                               


Gibson Interior 9.jpg (141668 bytes)        Gibson Interior 8.jpg (111867 bytes)
    The Lounge                        The Fountain Room



   The following non-postcard images come from a magazine called the Hotel Bulletin which devoted two magazines to the new Gibson Hotel that had just been rebuilt in 1922. I only have section two of the article but it contains 56 pages so I can only dream about what the first half held.

Plan1-Basement Level.jpg (310422 bytes)
Plan of Basement Level

   A quick service restaurant capable of seating 350 at the tables and another 75 at the double horseshoe counter was located in the basement level. A basement lobby and the barber shop were also on this level.

Plan2-Ground Floor.jpg (302844 bytes)
Plan of Ground Level

   There were 4 entrances to the main lobby from the street level. On the south side there was a long white marble corridor going all the way to 4th Street. There was also an entrance from the Union Trust Building on the northwest corner of 4th and Walnut Sts. There were two entrances on the Walnut St. side of the hotel, the main entrance and a ladies entrance north of the main entrance. The luxurious Lounge was just west of the Lobby. The famous two levels of the Florentine Dining Room that was between the Lobby and 5th St. The Grand Staircase, from the Dining Room, led up to the Mezzanine that extended the full width of the building overlooking Fountain Square. The Della Robbia Room was at the west end of the Mezzanine Level and could be closed off from the rest of the Mezzanine for a private dining room. 

Main Lobby.jpg (408989 bytes)            Lounge.jpg (402645 bytes)
Main Lobby                                      Lounge      


Both Levels of Florentine Room.jpg (524771 bytes)            Florentine's Grand Stairway.jpg (480690 bytes)            Florentine Room-Mezzanine Level.jpg (598324 bytes)            Della Robbia Room-Mezzanine Level.jpg (246274 bytes)
Both Levels of Florentine Room       Florentine's Grand Staircase                  Mezzanine Level                            Della Robbia Room                  


Gibson Kitchen 1.jpg (864083 bytes)Gibson Kitchen 2.jpg (976956 bytes)
Main Kitchen Layout

   The main kitchen is directly connected to and is chiefly for the use of the Florentine Room. The layout above is in two parts because of its size. The article identifies the numbers on the diagram but I did not try to put them up for technical reasons. If you really must know what a number stands for, let me know and I will look it up.


Plan3-Ball Room&Convention Hall Floor.jpg (246247 bytes)
Plan of Ballroom & Banquet Hall

   The Ballroom and Banquet hall located on the floor above the Mezzanine Floor covered an area of over 3,700 square feet with banquet facilities for 1,200 people. One of the features was a portable stage, 22' x 22' with a seating capacity of 125. There were 6 high speed elevators that carried people rapidly and efficiently to all the floors of the hotel. There were also a number of private dining rooms.

Grand Ballroon-4 views.jpg (685640 bytes)
4 Views of Ballroom & Banquet Hall


Plan4-Typ Sleeping Room Floor Plan.jpg (224193 bytes)
Plan for Typical Guest Rooms

   There were 10 floors of guest rooms with 100 rooms on each floor. They all either faced the street or the large, light, airy, open courts. Six rooms on each floor contained concealed double or twin beds that were hidden behind paneled French mirrors. They were elaborately furnished so that when the beds were hidden the rooms became a fancy parlor. Floor clerks were stationed in front of the elevators and were in direct charge of that floor. They could call a maid to their station using a silent system whenever needed.

Typical Living & Sleeping Rooms.jpg (875621 bytes)              Gibson-Hide-a-Bed.jpg (49375 bytes)              Views of Suites.jpg (741601 bytes)              Dressing Room & Bath.jpg (339900 bytes)
Typ. Living & Sleeping Rooms                Hide-a Bed                       Views of the Suites             Dressing Room & Bath         


Plan5-Roof Garden Layout.jpg (278540 bytes)
Plan for Roof Garden

   Known as the "Gibson Room" the Roof Garden extended the full length of the 5th Street side of the hotel and was claimed to be the largest and most beautiful of its kind in the world. The 48, x 110' room had a large stage at the west end. It was entirely enclosed in glass and could seat 1,500 guests. Directly connected to the garden was the roof garden foyer which could be closed off from the garden if needed. The large checking facilities in the roof lobby was able to easily handle the large number of patrons that were usually at the Roof Garden.



Gibson-z11vert.jpg (111726 bytes)        Sheraton-Gibson VC.jpg (284720 bytes)        Gibson-z8vert.jpg (230541 bytes)        Gibson Hotel 6 vert new.jpg (113098 bytes)


Gibson-z3.jpg (144862 bytes)        Sheraton-Gibson-Fountain Square.jpg (282627 bytes)


Gibson Hotel 8 new.jpg (87406 bytes)        Gibson Hotel 7 vert new.jpg (113740 bytes)
      Kon-Tiki Restaurant           Sheraton Lounge